I have only been working at CCFC for a few weeks, but I can already see that the major guiding principle behind CCFS's work aligns with a deep-rooted belief of mine—that children deserve a childhood free of roadblocks to their healthy development. Prior to coming to CCFC, I was an early childhood educator and professional development provider. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am a long-time advocate of hands-on creative play and face-to-face interactions for young children. The advent of easily accessible screen technology is transforming young children’s lives at an unprecedented rate and scale. It concerns me that widespread use of screens is taking time away from creative play and other experiences that we know are essential for children to thrive.
New technologies are exciting and provide many benefits to our work and personal lives. However, in a rush to be globally competitive and on the cutting-edge of the technology revolution, we are losing sight of what hands-on play and genuine social feedback provide for children—a foundation for future learning, creative thinking, problem-solving, and more. In addition, creative play is being actively sidelined by corporations trying to push their brands, by technology and media companies overstating the educational benefits of their products, and by education reform rhetoric focused on decontextualized academic skills for very young children.
Although diminishing amounts of play and social interactions are the issues that brought me to CCFC, I recognize that they are just a small subset of the growing concerns about the influx of screen time for young children. I am thrilled to join the CCFC staff and community as the Screen Time Project Manager. I hope that, together, we can help preserve childhood and help all children live less manufactured lives.